Article Archives

  • Video Games
    Video Games

    Playing nine to five: job simulators

    - by Louis Calvert

    While sports and action games tend to get the most publicity, there’s a genre of video game that can rack up the kind of play-time and fan loyalty that any triple-A game would kill for. The simulation game is generally a type of game that simulates, to varying degrees, aspects of real life or real activities.    Simulation games date back to the mid 1980s and the category is surprisingly broad. Most sports and racing franchises like FIFA, NBA or F1 are simulation games,…

  • Thinkpiece
    ThinkpieceVideo Games

    Pokémon: the weird and the wonderful

    - by Ben Potts, Jane Clewett

    Pokémon is one of the most successful franchises in the world. Everyone is familiar with Pokémon Go, the catchy mobile game that turned people of all ages into fans. The franchise, across its iterations of anime, video games, and card games, depicts a utopian sci-fi universe with some surprisingly dark facets.    Imagine that you’re a child in the Pokémon world of Galar. Every pre-teen dreams of one thing: the day they bind a semi-sapient monster to their will and venture out into the…

  • Books
    Books

    Interview: Anna Smith Spark

    - by Parallel Worlds

    Anna Smith Spark is the author of the critically acclaimed, multi-award shortlisted Empires of Dust grimdark epic fantasy series The Court of Broken Knives, The Tower of Living and Dying, and The House of Sacrifice, described as “game of literary thrones” by the UK Sunday Times and “like early Moorcock and Le Guin” by the UK Daily Mail.     Welcome to Parallel Worlds, Anna! Your writing has been described as grimdark fantasy. You’ve been asked “what is grimdark” before, but what makes it…

  • Tabletop Games
    Tabletop Games

    Gamesmasterclass: the importance of session zero

    - by Chris Cunliffe

    Gamesmasterclass continues our series of guides for gamesmasters. This month, we run through an important but often-overlooked step in setting up a new roleplaying game.    One of the hardest parts of running a successful campaign is the beginning — there’s a lot to do! You need to start establishing the world you are using, get the ball rolling on the plot, possibly teach players how the game works, and (sometimes hardest of all) you need to get your player characters together. And that…

  • Thinkpiece
    ThinkpieceVideo Games

    Pixelated honours: exploring video game achievements

    - by Connor Eddles

    You’re playing a game, and all of a sudden a little box pops up. Congratulations! You’ve hit an achievement. You’re one fraction of a percent closer to 100% completion. Nonsense frippery, or compelling structural innovation? This month, we explore the modern phenomenon of video game achievements.   1982 was quite the year, apparently. Blade Runner, The Thing and Conan the Barbarian all hit the screen, the Falklands War ground on, and a now-familiar company called Activision began a trend that has become a mainstay…

  • Interview
    InterviewTabletop Games

    Know your community: D&D Fantasy Art

    - by Parallel Worlds

    In this series, we get to know the communities, both online and off, dedicated to celebrating science fiction and fantasy around the world.  This month we got to know Glen Welch from D&D Fantasy Art, a Facebook-based group of roleplayers and artists with over 40,000 members.    Hey there Glen! Thanks for talking to us. When did the group start? And how? I started the page about eighteen months ago. I was looking for a place where artists could show off their work; and,…